The House of Representatives Committee on Works on Friday, insisted on quality and timely delivery of Abuja-Keffi-Lafia-Makurdi road, urging the Ministry of Works to ensure Nigerians got value for their money.
Rep. Abubakar Kabir, Chairman of the committee who led other members on an oversight tour of the ongoing project, urged the contractor to ensure timely completion of the road by April 2023.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the inspection took off from the Kugbo end of the A-Y-A–Nyanya at the boundary between Abuja and Nasarawa.
The committee proceeded to the Keffi–Akwanga section of the project at kilometer 19, between Gudi village and Akwanga.
Responding to why the project was staggered, Mr Henry Usor, an official from the Road Sector Development Unit of the federal ministry of works, explained that compensation issues were responsible for such staggered implementation.
He said the ministry only took charge of portions on which compensations had been paid and asked the contractor to commence work.
He added that buildings and commercial facilities such as fuel stations could only be demolished after compensation issues had been settled.
He assured that whatever issues and observations on the job raised by the committee would be noted and corrections ensured by the contractor before take over of the project by the ministry.
The Society for the Promotion of People’s Rights, an NGO, has urged relevant stakeholders on effective collaboration to protect and preserve ozone layer in the country.
Mr Williams Osaze, the National President of the organization, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja.
Osaze said that the collaboration would strongly safeguard ozone layer and proffer solutions to address other environmental issues in the country.
He also called on international organisations to support the government with reasonable funding to curb the environmental challenges.
The challenges include climate change, biodiversity, deforestation and land degradation.
According to him, the ozone layer depletion is a global environmental problem.
“Therefore protecting the ozone layer is a global responsibility and must be tackled through collaborative effort from the relevant stakeholders.
“The ozone serves as a protective layer over the earth surface by absorbing and bouncing back the dangerous ultra violets and rays of sun.
“The chemicals on coming in contact with the ozone layer, react with the layer and cause a reduction in its concentration, leading to a hole known as the ozone hole,’’ he said.
The national president said that the ozone layer depletion could lead to skin cancer, eye cataracts and reduction in animal immune system, among others.
He said that measures to protect the ozone layer were the phase-out of the use of the ozone depleting substances.
He explained that the ozone depleting substances were man-made gases that destroyed ozone once they reached the ozone layer.
“The ozone layer sits in the upper atmosphere and reduces the amount of harmful ultra violet radiation that reaches earth from the sun.
“As well, I will put it that the ozone depleting substances are those chemicals that destroy the earth`s protective ozone layer which include chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), carbon tetrachloride (CCI4) and others.
Osaze called on government agencies to strengthen collaboration with Chemical Regulatory Companies in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning sector to implement those policies and programmes that would tackle the ozone layer depletion.
He also urged the companies to ensure effective training of their technicians on energy efficiency practices in the sector.
Osaze said that the training and retraining of the technicians and implementation of programmes would also help the sector convert to ozone friendly technologies.
He said that the effort would as well encourage the companies to produce ozone friendly products, thereby supporting in the protection and preservation of the ozone layer in the country.
Speak Up, Stand Out (SUSO) Project Nigeria on Friday called for support for youths to be drivers of the implementation process of the Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agenda in the country.
Mr Rafiu Lawal, an activist, made the call at a news conference to commemorate the International Day of Peace with the theme “End Racism ,Build Peace” in Abuja.
Lawal said that for an effective implementation of YPS, there ought to inter-generational cooperation among all stakeholders, therefore, youths should not just be beneficiaries alone but also drivers of the process.
SUSO programme is an initiative aimed to empower young people with information and grassroots mobilisation skills to participate meaningfully in socio-political development to amplify youth voices and influence polices.
He said that the programme is being implemented with 20 Youth activists in Lagos, Abuja and Enugu State empowering youths with digital skills and resources to carry activism to drive social change.
He said the on Dec. 9, 2015, the United Nations Security adopted Resolution 2250 on Youth Peace and Security which recognises the critical role youths play in peace process.
Lawal said Resolutions 2419 and 2235 were also adopted to emphasise the need to include youth in peace related dialogues, adding that the Federal Governent adopted a National Action Plan on it.
He said the action plan provided a clear roadmap of participation, protection, prevention, partnership, disengagement and reintegration for the engagement of young people in the prevention of violent conflict and peace building across the country.
Lawal said that a study conducted by one of the group’s partners — Building Blocks for Peace Foundation — across six states and online highlighted youths priorities as Nigeria strive to implement the action plan on youth peace and security.
He, therefore, said that the group recommended that government agencies such as the National Orientation Agency and Ministry of Information at federal and state levels should be engaged in information dissemination and education on it.
“There is also need to address funding issues for youth organisations and states and local governments should be carried along and also create synergy with civil organisations,” he said.
He urged the National Assembly to look in the legislation of youth, peace and security agenda in Nigeria, adding that there was need to embark on advocacy with a view to deepen existing policy, laws and programmes to aid implementation.
He called for the need to address structural barriers that limit the meaningful inclusion of youths and create an enabling environment for youth organisations among others.
Also speaking, Ms Ene Audu another SUSO activist, called on youths to shun politics of ethnicity and religion ahead of the 2023 general elections.
She urged youths to vote for competence and people who could do the job for the good of the nation.
The Sappers Engineering Nigeria Ltd. (SENL) on Friday sought for collaboration with the Federal Government on effective implementation of ecological projects in the country.
The Director of the Project, Brig.-Gen. Aderemi Gbedebo, at a visit to Ecological Project Fund (EPO) in Abuja, said the company was registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
Gbedebo, who visited the EPO with some members of his team, said the company had been involved with several government projects, including construction of , buildings, canals and reservoirs across the country.
He said that the SENL was a subsidiary of the Nigerian Army Engineers (NAE), and was committed to work with the EPO for efficient implementation of projects.
According to him, the purpose of the visit is to reach out to the EPO to offer technical expertise in the implementation and operation of ecological projects in the country.
“The company has the human resources, equipment and capacity to carry out any of the intervention projects towards national development.
“The SENL had performed similar projects with some Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as constituency projects.
“The projects are professionally and thoroughly executed by our team of experts,’’ he said.
The Director, Overseeing the EPO, Dr Famous Eseduwo, while expressing delight over the visit, said that the office was ready and committed to work with the SENL.
Eseduwo said that the EPO would encourage the company to be involved in the execution of some of its projects, especially, considering the present security challenges facing the country.
“Security is a frontline issue in government’s efforts at meeting some of the needs of Nigerians and to mitigate their challenges.
I believed that the collaboration will be an added value.
“I want to assure that the request will be escalated to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation ((SGF), Boss Mustapha, for further necessary action.
The National President of Wushishi Old Students Association, Dr Zubairu Tswachi on Friday, congratulated Prof. Faruk Kuta over his appointment as the new Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna.
A statement by the national president made available to newsmen, said that the members of the association were thrilled to hear that Kuta, “a compatriot of the association and a Prof. of Microbiology, was appointed as the eighth substantive Vice-Chancellor of the university.
“The emergence of Kuta in a highly comparative process was a testament to his long years of academic excellence, hard work and demonstration of great leadership skills.
“As a thorough-bred academic and versatile administrator, the association has no doubt that the new vice-chancellor will bring his wealth of experience to bear, knowledge and leadership qualities in the discharge of his responsibilities”.
He said that members of association were so proud of him and wished him success in his new assignment.
The Kaduna State Government has expressed regret over the prolonged gridlock experienced by commuters on the Kaduna-Abuja Highway over the last few days.
The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan made this known in a statement issued on Friday in Kaduna .
Aruwan said it was regrettable that citizens plying the route over the last few days had experienced severe hardship and discomfort due to the gridlock.
Aruwan said, “The Kaduna State Government is in discussions with Julius Berger PLC, and other relevant agencies towards ensuring that obstructions were promptly cleared and the gridlock be eased for normal movement of traffic, as soon as possible.
“The government once more reiterates its deep regret over the situation, and conveys its understanding of the significant pains being endured by citizens and commuters in the protracted situation.
”The Commissioner added that citizens will be updated on situation accordingly.
Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo has advised residents of the state to accept and not discriminate against People Living with Disabilities (PLWDs).
Uzodimma’s advice is contained in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Oguwike Nwachuku, and made available to newsmen on Friday in Owerri.
Nwachukwu explained that the governor spoke when the PLWDs visited him at the Government House.
Uzodimma assured them that he was committed to their welfare.
He said that although they might be physically disabled, they were “definitely not mentally disabled”.
The governor urged them to continue to support his administration and promised to give equal employment and other opportunities to them.
He also promised to help them to acquire skills to enable them to become self-employed, self-sustaining and employers of labour.
“We must not discriminate against people merely because of their challenges.
“Those who are not challenged today may be challenged tomorrow.
”Ideas rule the world and no one knows who will lead the state and country tomorrow.
“What is needed for performance is mental strength and ideas,” Uzodimma reportedly said.
The state Chairman, Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, Mr Stanley Nwachukwu, thanked the governor for his “immeasurable acts of goodwill”, weaved around his 3R mantra of Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Recovery.
Nwachukwu, however, appealed to him to approve the payment of the arrears of their monthly subvention, employment waiver and a vehicle for the association to enable members to move around and participate in the upcoming electioneering.
He reaffirmed the association’s patriotic disposition and support for good governance and people-oriented developmental strides in the state.
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia urged the leaders of the National Muslim Conference (NMC) to join forces with other religious groups and partner governments to achieve inclusive development for the betterment of the country.
The Muslim National Conference is a coalition of Muslim sects and interested parties under the auspices of the National Chief Imam and the Parliamentary Muslim Caucus.
The goals of the NMC are to bring all Muslims together to contribute significantly to the well-being of their community members and to national development.
Speaking at the opening of the second edition of the NMC in Accra on Thursday, September 22, Dr. Bawumia praised the NMC for its ideals of national development and also called on the NMC leadership to help protect the enviable peace and unity between Muslims and Christians.
joining with their Christian counterparts to fight for collective national development, as key national stakeholders.
"Having carefully studied the Minutes of the Conference, I came to the conclusion that the NMC is trying to galvanize the energies, human and material resources of the Muslim Ummah (community) in Ghana to stimulate the national leaders of the Muslim Community to act for the collective growth of the Ummah and Ghana as a whole," said Dr. Bawumia.
"The NMC could not have chosen any better indicator of growth and development than the four thematic pillars and objectives captured in the NMC Scripture, namely: Education, Health, Finance and Economic Empowerment of the Muslim Ummah in Ghana."
The thematic areas would not only find space in the Government's development agenda, but are also in accordance with the development agenda of the African continent and the United Nations."
The Vice President further noted that, for the government, closing the development gaps between the less privileged communities and remains a priority for the country's overall growth."As a government, we believe that everything possible must be done to end any form of exclusion, regardless of the community involved, be it Christian, Muslim or any another".
another community, since we are a people with a common destiny".
"It is the reason why our government has pursued an inclusive development agenda, through the creation of effective community development vehicles, such as the Coastal Development Authority, the Middle Belt Development Authority, the Norte and the Zongo Development Fund Dr. Bawumia emphasized that in addition to such inclusive development policies by the government, there is a need for intra-religious dialogues as well as greater engagement between the nation's two main religious groups (Muslims and Christians).
) to propose strategies and plans, in collaboration with the government, to mitigate the day-to-day challenges faced by the people."Ghanaian Muslims have always joined hands with their Christian counterparts in nation-building.
As early as 1932, Muslims on the Gold Coast were aware of their responsibilities and had formed the Gold Coast Muslim Association, which was established as a welfare and social association.
“There is no doubt that Ghanaian Muslims and Christians are unique and can come together, work together and excel in various fields from sports to politics.” The beautiful specter of a Jummah congregation around Accra's Nima roundabout extends to the front of a church facility, the sight of a national imam in a chapel to exchange courtesies with Christian leaders, and a Christian president teaming up with a Muslim vice president, in the case of my boss and mine, are some of beautiful examples of what Muslims and Christians can do together in our workplaces, communities and the nation, once we continue to tolerate one another and show respect for our religious diversity."
While he praised NMC leaders for their vision, Dr. Bawumia also urged them to prioritize education and get members of their community to take full advantage of the government's expansion of free access to education, because "education is the surest way to empower people, accelerate development and alleviate poverty".
The National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, emphasized the need to strengthen tolerance, peace and unity in the country, and urged the nation to continue to be grateful to God for the grace he has bestowed on the country as a peaceful nation in midst of the conflicts in the subregion.
The Federal Government has announced the arrest of 210 suspects in its efforts to combat crude oil theft in the Niger Delta.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed gave the figure on Friday in Port-Harcourt after undertaking an aerial assessment of some hotspots along the Right of Way of the Trans-Niger Pipeline.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports the minister, accompanied by some journalists in the surveillance also covered the Nembe Creek Trunk Line leading up to the Bonny Oil and Gas Terminal that has been under force majeure since March 2022. Briefing the newsmen after the 90 minutes-aerial survey, the minister also disclosed that the continued efforts by the Government security agencies had led to the confiscation of 20.2 Million litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), diesel.
According to the minister, over 461,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol), 843,000 litres of Dual Purpose Kerosene DPK, and 383,000 barrels of crude oil were confiscated.
He said an additional 365 illegal refining sites were destroyed, with about 1,054 refining ovens, 1,210 metal storage tanks, 838 dugout pits, and 346 reservoirs also destroyed.
Mohammed said the activities of vandals and economic saboteurs had severely impacted Nigeria’s crude oil and natural gas production.
“Since the post-covid pandemic recovery of Crude Oil Prices, Nigeria has been unable to meet its OPEC Production quota, hurting the Nigerian Economy.
“Due to the nefarious activities of vandals, Nigeria has been losing out on producing approximately 700,000 Barrels of oil daily.
“This volume is split between crude stolen and production deferment (shut-ins) due to legitimate fear of losing substantial volumes in transit.
“Terminal receipts have persistently declined, leading to decisions such as the Force Majure declared at the Bonny Oil and Gas Terminal in March 2022,’’ he said.
To check the activities of the saboteurs, the minister said the NNPC Ltd had set up a new security architecture to serve as a solid response to detect, deter, and respond to the activities of vandals.
He said the security architecture leveraged collaboration between the Upstream operators, Industry Regulators, Government Security Agencies (GSA), and Private Security Contractors (PSC).
The minister said, in line with the approval by President Muhammadu Buhari, Private Security Contractors (PSCs) with the required capability were contracted.
He said the PSCs are to provide community surveillance within the oil-producing regions were identified and engaged after comprehensive vetting by the DSS and EFCC.
They are also to provide local intelligence on all illegal crude ventures happening within the region and security surveillance services for safe and seamless operations along the nation’s pipeline networks.
The minister added that NNPC Ltd.’s Command and Control Centre was set up for round-the-clock monitoring of petroleum operations and activities within the Nigerian Exclusive Economic Zone. According to him, all vessel movements within the Nigerian Exclusive Economic Zone as well as all Ship-to-ship activities within the same zone are The Command and Centre, according the minister has also launched various online tools to enable public participation in the fight against crude theft.
The tools included, Whistle Blowing Portal, for patriotic Nigerians to report illegal activities and Crude Sales Document Validation Portal, to validate all crude sales documents.
He said the centre also has Incidence Reporting and Management Application and developing a Vessels Reporting Application.
Mohammed reiterated that the federal government is determined to put an end to the crude oil losses.
NAN reports that the team conveyed on the aerial surveillance in two Sikorsky S76D Choppers witnessed first-hand a number of illegal refineries destroyed by military.
NAN also reports that in the course of the surveillance, the team also saw first-hand, high level of damage to the environment, as a result of the activities of the economic saboteurs.
A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, dismissed the suit filed by Udom Ekpoudom challenging the APC’s failure to summit his name to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the party’s candidate for the Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District for the 2023 general elections.
Delivering judgment, Justice Donatus Okorowo, held that the plaintiff’s action was not justiciable, hence, the suit was incompetent.
Justice Okorowo, who said that the matter bordered on the internal affairs of a party, held that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ekpoudom, a retired DIG, was the plaintiff in the case.
He had sued the APC and former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio as 1st and 2nd defendants in the suit.
The lawsuit followed the emergence of Akpabio as the party’s candidate in the APC re-run primary poll held on June 8. The state’s APC Chairman, Stephen Ntukekpo, had said he was directed by the party at the national level to carry out a re-run over alleged infractions in which Akapbio had emerged winner with 478 votes, while Ekpoudom got just three votes.
NAN reports that in the earlier primary conducted on May 27 in the state, Ekpoudom won the poll though the ex-minister did not contest, having vied for the APC’s presidential election in which Bola Tinubu emerged the winner.
Although INEC had recognised Ekpoudom as the APC candidate for the senatorial district for the 2023 election, the APC submitted Akpabio’s name as its candidate.
The APC insisted on Akpabio as its candidate, a situation which prompted Ekpoudom to challenge the party in court.
Ekpoudom, in the application, said he duly participated in the Akwa Ibom North West APC Senatorial District Primary Election held on May 27 and monitored by INEC in line with the 2023 election timetable and guidelines of the APC.
He prayed the court to recognise him as the duly elected candidate of the party.
NAN reports that a brother judge in the FHC, Abuja, Justice Emeka Nwite, had, on Sept. 15, ordered the INEC to accept and publish Akpabio’s name as the candidate of the APC for the 2023 Akwa Ibom Senatorial District election.
Nwite, in a judgment, held that INEC’s refusal to accept and publish the name of the ex-minister was in contradiction with the law, having received the name from the APC as its valid candidate.
NAN reports that Akpabio’s name was among in the final list of national assembly candidates for the 2023 released by the electoral umpire on Tuesday.